Horseracing in China?

A race meeting in Wuhan in February, under the rules of the China Jockey Association, happened behind closed doors – a trial run. The races will happen every Friday from September. Miao Wei, Party secretary of Wuhan, an industrial nondescript kind of place, has given his approval, no doubt encouraged by the kind of predictions of profits doing the round.

Horseracing – the term lottery is preferred over betting in the local press – will drum up US$14.25 billion and US$4 billino in taxes for the state, as well as 3 million jobs. Looking at the way Hong Kongers bet, that’s believable.

A third of the RMB363 million in lottery tickets money has been spent on public welfare – given the appaling collapse of free social services like hospitals in the post-Communist world its no wonder that Wuhan would green-light the horse racing industry.

Speaking about the Wuhan development on the excellent BERNARD ANG founder member and President of the Association of Racehorse Trainers Singapore (ARTS) says racing will work in China if there’s transparency. Rules must be clear.” He also cautions that punters (or gamblers) must be educated. “Unlike games on cards, there is this element of thrill or so-called personal satisfaction in picking the winning horse in a race through what we call the application of the personal touch. This is an art. It can be taught and trained through education by way of seminars and talks.” And of course, Bernard is “will be much obliged to assist in this field if the relevant authority is interested to pursue.

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